João José Pinto Ferreira
Anne-Laure Mention
Marko Torkkeli


Innovation is a journey that is full of challenges. It is demanding, but we need to keep inspirational aspects in mind, such as the ones President Kennedy expressed in his predestinated “sticky” (Heath and Heath, 2007) speech in 1962 about sending a man to the moon. Since the seminal works of Schumpeter (1934), innovation has been widely acknowledged as a key driver of competitiveness, economic growth and welfare. There is a wealth of empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between innovation and firm-level performance in the academic literature (e.g. Crépon et al., 1998; Griffith et al., 2006; Lööf and Heshmati, 2002). At firm level, innovation has long been recognized as a competitive advantage and a key driver of economic performance (Schumpeter, 1934). Innovation also lies at the very heart of policy mechanisms to achieve a smart, inclusive and sustainable growth in economies, as envisioned by the Europe 2020 strategy (European Commission, 2013).